Khon Kaen to Chong Mek
Our circuit of the South East Corner of Thailand took us from Khon Kaen through Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, and Ubon Ratchatani to the small border town of Chong Mek, an official Thai/Laos border crossing point. The 380 kilometre journey takes 5½ to 6 hours depending on stops and passes through five Provinces.
After three days in Pakse, Lao People’s Democratic Republic we returned to Thailand and headed out of Chong Mek, east of the huge Sirindorn Dam. This route is seldom used by tourists and it would take us close to the Laos border and then the Cambodian border to look at a few ancient ruins in the deep south-east of Thailand.
With the tribulations of escaping Laos and then clocking up more than 200 kilometres on narrow country roads through two Provinces the town of Khun Han was a convenient and comfortable close to the day. It was a delightful evening at the Rerawadi Resort and Restaurant on the edge of town.
Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew (Wat Lan Khuad) – Glass Bottle Temple
We visited this unprepossessing Wat before we checked into the Resort. The temple is made of more than 1.5 million empty Heineken and Chang beer bottles. This point apart, it is totally underwhelming. The gushing reviews on the Web and social media makes one question if these people actually visited the site.
Bouncing from Chedi to Stupa to Prang
Criss crossing the deep south-east from Khun Han to Chaloem Phra Kiat, visitings seven ancient ruins along the way was full on – and later needed a bit of analysis to ascertain where we had just been.
Prasat Si Khoraphum
Prasat Phum Phon
Prasat Ta Muen Thom (on Cambodian border)
Prasat Ta Muen, near Cambodian Border
Prasat Ta Muen Tot, near Cambodian border
Prasat Prang Ku, Sisaket
Prasat Hin Khao Phanom Rung
From this stunning and very popular Historical Park we pushed on to Korat to have dinner with friends.
It was an intense, tiring day – 454 kilometres and four Provinces.
Korat to Khon Kaen
This day we visited some of the attractions of Phimai on the return trip to Khon Kaen.
Phimai Historical Park
Banyan Trees of Phimai
The Sai Ngam banyan tree in Phimai is more than 350 years old. Its aerial roots have spread laterally to cover an area of 3250 square metres. These aerial roots have turned into hard, woody stems that prop up the tree. It sits on an island in a small lake.
The Buddha is believed to have become enlightened under a banyan tree. They are thought to be occupied by a particularly powerful variety of spirit. A series of dirt and brick paths meander through the banyan.
It was an uneventful run home to Khon Kaen – 190 kilometres across two Provinces.
Our Road Trip through the south-east corner of Thailand covered 13 Provinces and 1255 kilometres and traversed a part of the country we had not previously seen.
South East Corner of Thailand Road Trip
Four days (plus three days in Pakse, Laos)
Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Yasathon, Ubon Ratchatani. Si Sa Ket, Buri Ram, Nakhon Ratchasima.
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11016-South East Corner of Thailand
© Kim Epton 2023
666 words, 15 photographs, one image.
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